Tobacco growing districts better developed: Study

Tobacco growing districts better developed: Study

A recent study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and the Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI) has revealed that tobacco growing districts in Karnataka fare better in terms of economic and social development, when compared to non-tobacco growing districts.

According to the survey ‘Tobacco Economics in India: The Voice of Farmer and other stakeholders,’ tobacco growing districts in the State such as Mysuru and Hassan indicated better per capita income, monthly per capita expenditure, gross district domestic product and socio-economic infrastructure when compared to non-tobacco growing districts such as Chamrajnagar, Chitradurga etc, which grow alternative crops.
Around 75 percent of the tobacco produced in Karnataka comes from Mysuru and Hassan.

While around 58,700 tonnes of tobacco is produced in Mysuru, Hassan accounts for about 10,800 tonnes. Further, they lead in terms of monthly per capita expenditure and gross district domestic product.

 The wealth indicators for Mysuru and Hassan is primarily from the tobacco growing districts and is significantly superior compared to the non-tobacco producing districts, said DS Rawat, Assocham national secretary general.

Tobacco cultivation plays a critical role in the development of the rural economy in these districts and it is one of the reasons for agricultural activities to have remained buoyant. The drastic and immediate reduction in tobacco growing can lead to dramatic changes in the structure of overall farming, employment, income and socio-economic balance. Alternatives need to be designed to sustain similar economic and social standards, he added.

Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, together account for 85 per cent of the country’s tobacco growing areas. Besides, there are around 90,000 registered tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Bidi tobacco is the major kind of tobacco product grown in the country (33 per cent), other types of tobacco products grown are Virginia Fire Cured-VFC (23 per cent), Natu (12 per cent), Cigar and Cheroot (three per cent), Hookah tobacco (14 per cent), Chewing tobacco (13 per cent) and Snuff tobacco (two per cent).
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